Press Release- Each year, a different national forest provides a tree to light up the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building for the holiday season. The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests in partnership with nonprofit partner Choose Outdoors and Colorado Tourism will bring this special gift from Colorado to Washington, D.C. for the 2020 holiday season with special events in 10 communities along the way.
The tree’s journey officially begins Nov. 6 when it will be cut on the Uncompahgre National Forest. Before the cutting, a short ceremony will take place and include remarks by USDA Forest Service leadership, local elected officials and project partners. A livestream of the ceremony and cutting will be available for viewing online on the GMUG National Forests Facebook page.
On Nov. 10, the tree will visit 10 communities for a series of outdoor festivities hosted by local communities at fair grounds, schools, main streets, visitor centers, convention centers and retailers. Well-wishers will have a chance to take photos, sign banners on the sides of the truck, learn more about the GMUG National Forests and the great state of Colorado and more. Festivities are free and open to the public for all to enjoy.
Beginning Nov.10, the tree’s journey can be tracked in real time online at capitoltreetracker.com hosted by Spireon, Inc., with tour stops* including:
Tuesday, Nov. 10
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. MST San Miguel CountyFairgrounds (1165 Summit St, Norwood, CO 81423)
3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. MST Montrose Visitor Center (107 S Cascade Ave., Montrose, CO 81401)
Wednesday, Nov. 11
9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. MST Ouray County Courthouse (541 4th St, Ouray, CO 81427)
5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. MST Grand Junction Convention Center (159 Main St, Grand Junction, CO 81501)
Thursday, Nov. 12
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. MST Downtown Paonia (Grand Avenue, Between 2nd and 3rd Street, Paonia, CO 81428)
2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. MST Gunnison Community School (1099 N 11th St, Gunnison, CO 81230) *For students and families.
Friday, Nov. 13
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.MST Salida High School - Student Parking Lots (26 Jones Avenue, Salida, CO 81201)
Saturday, Nov. 14
5 p.m. – 7 p.m. MST Bass Pro Shops (7970 Northfield Blvd, Denver, CO 80238)
Tuesday, Nov. 17
3 p.m. – 6 p.m. EST Asheville Outlets (800 Brevard Rd Suite 805, Asheville, NC 28806)
Friday, Nov. 20:
Delivery to West Lawn, U.S. Capitol Building
Safety of tour staff, event attendees and the tree are the top priority. Face coverings are required for all events and social distancing will be maintained. Along the way, we ask the public to be aware of the large truck’s huge blind spots, wide turns, and longer stopping distances on our roads so we can all arrive safely to our destinations.
The initiative made possible with cash and in-kind contributions from companies large and small as well as volunteers locally and across America, who provide vital support of time and resources. 2020 sponsors include Kenworth Truck Company, Apex Transportation, 42 Degrees North Media, Spireon, Inc., Hale Trailer, Chuck Leavell, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, STIHL, Truckload Carriers Association, Great West Casualty Company, Valley Crane, Red Wing Shoes, National Forest Foundation, Society of American Foresters, LexisNexis VitalChek Network, Inc., The Joy Trip Project, Loki, Montrose County, Delta County, Seirus, TravelCenters of America, Bass Pro Shops, Citizens State Bank and Vesmir.
Follow along online at www.uscapitolchristmastree.com and @uscapitolchristmastree on Facebook
*Subject to change. Monitor website at www.uscapitolchristmastree.com/tour for the latest updates.